Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I've made it through two days of camp! Amazing!
The first day, I threw a mini-tantrum when they wouldn't let me go home when camps were done. It's Winter break! Let me go home and do nothing, for a change. Why make me stay at the school when my facebooking, blog reading and YouTubing could easily be achieved from the comfort of my own home!

Also, for Winter camps, they've decided that I shouldn't be in my English Office, that I need to be in the main office where the secretaries and vice principal reside. Yay for them! They have a sullen, aggravated Amelican to ponder.

And ponder they do. The 'Waygook' (me) comes up frequently in their conversations, followed or accompanied by uproarious laughter. Such as when I thought I was going home at noon.

"Waygookie, waygook, waygookie! Hohohohohoho!"
"Hahahah Waygook, waygooooook, waaaaaygookie! Hahahah!"

That was a knee slapper! Oh how they laughed!

I could see that arguing about it further would get me nowhere so I refused to eat lunch with them as punishment. This was a completely pointless gesture, because they took it to mean I had not brought a lunch and they went into a panic trying to find me something to eat. By that point, I realized I was being childish. I mean, I have to stay there, but it's not like I'm expected to work. Really, what do I have to complain about? Nothing. So I ate lunch with them.

Later, the secretary 'prepared bread', meaning, she bought some cinnamon roll looking things and opened the packages.
Mr. Toad brought me my share.
"It is only bread, it have no milk." He assured me.
I eyed it suspiciously.
"Do you want it?" I asked him, knowing this was a long shot because he used to be really fat, has lost a ton of weight and never eats anything anyone brings in. The ironic thing is that he always tries to pass it off on me, and I'm not going to eat anything unless I know exactly what's in it, meaning more often than not it ends up in the garbage.
"No, I don't want any." Mr. Toad smirked, "I'm full."
I saw my out, "I'm full too." I announced quickly.
He reported back to the secretary, "Waygookie! Hahahaha! Waaaaaygook! Hohohoho!"
When laughing at the waygook round two was taken care of, Mr. Toad thought it was time, once again, to discuss my 'begetable' diet.
"You eat a little milk if it in bread?" He wondered.
"No. I don't eat bread with milk in it."
"But all bread has milk in it." (Didn't he just tell me that the bread the secretary bought didn't have milk in it? Oh, yes he did!)
"Not all of it."

Then he did that annoying thing that people in Korea do. The first part of it is that they know with every fiber in their being that you're wrong, but don't want to just come out and say that. This certainty comes from thin air as it is their opinions masquerading as facts that they are certain about.

The second part is they shift their eyes to the side and make a concerned face coupled with a sharp intake of breath. They might also give their head a minuscule but noticeable shake to up the ante.
"Not as I know." He said.

I countered by long windedly explaining in vivid detail the labeling laws in the United States as I understood them. I followed that with an in depth analysis of the difference between 'small' and 'trace' amounts. I also felt it pertinent to mention the whole "this product was manufactured in a facility that also processes milk and eggs" issue which led me directly to a discussion of peanut allergies and people who could potentially drop dead from 'trace' amounts. None of this had anything to do with what he was asking about, and I actually saw the exact moment his eyes glazed over.

"I see." He said, and quickly found somewhere else to be.

Two days down, eight to go.


Enormous Plumes of Smoke said...

I would feel so frustrated in your position there. Your Koreans are sounding like assholes. Tell me there are some good things about them?

LouDog said...

For the tiny amount of bullshit you have to put up with, getting paid to do barely anything makes up for it. Imagine having a job where you do, maybe 3 to 4 hours of work but often less, get paid for eight(icluding 1 hour lunch) and they pay your rent. Having them laugh at your lunch or think you are stupid (because they dont understand something) is really a small price to pay, compared to busting your ass for barely enough to cover expenses in the US.

Expat Wannabe said...

Being laughed at means nothing in Korea. I don't take it personally. In fact, I'm pretty sure they find me fascinating.

Danielle said...

My Coteacher told me that I should eat lunch with my students today. She ordered me "vegetable" kimbap. What was in it? Ham, tuna, egg, crab and some cheese whiz looking cream. They just don't get it. =/

But, I seriously laughed out loud about the waygookin, waygookie, hahha, waygoooookin comment. Because that's absolutely what happens to me (and probably to most of us), though they actually say my name. So, it's more like Denyurl, ahhahaha, !#$@#*&*#$% Denyurl. ;)

I still love my job though. They can talk all the crap they want, as long as they keep paying me for this totally cushy "work."

Expat Wannabe said...

They used to use my name in their conversations, until they noticed that, like a dog, I looked up at them each and every time they said it. Now they use the generic term, to avoid the rude interuptions.